Industry Groups Urge Policy Makers to ‘Soften’ Transition of Autonomous Vehicles


A sweeping report released today by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the International Road Transport Union (IRU) made several recommendations on easing the transition to autonomous vehicles for the transportation workforce.

The report – “Managing the Transition to Driverless Road Freight Transport – warns autonomous vehicles could begin to reduce the demand for drivers in the U.S. and Europe and urges regulatory bodies to begin working together now to mitigate the impact while adopting driverless technology.

Fleet Owner magazine reports the groups involved in compiling this report offered four major recommendations to “smooth” the transition to driverless trucks to avoid “potential … disruption.”

  • Governments, industry and researchers should continue to advance self-driving truck tests on public roads in designated corridors and areas so no commitment is made to an individual company, standard or technology too early in the development process. “This will help ensure societal benefits from automated road freight transport will be maximized,” according to the study.
  • The “harmonization of rules” across countries to create common vehicle standards and operational rules would allow for smoother cross-border movements of autonomous trucks and should be put in place at least at a continental level, but preferably at the global level.
  • Governments should establish a temporary transition advisory board that includes representatives from labour unions, road freight businesses, vehicle manufacturers and government to help determine the “right policy mix” to ensure that the costs, benefits, and risks from automated road haulage are “fairly distributed.”
  • Governments should consider establishing a “temporary permit system” to manage the speed of driverless technology adoption while supporting a “just transition” for displaced drivers. “Careful design of the permit system would ensure that permits are used to manage the labor transition fairly and not as a proxy to limit the free movement of goods,” the report noted.

To download the full report, click here.

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